METHWOLD (Methold), William

METHWOLD (Method), William. Baptized South Pickenham near Swaffham, Norfolk 1590 — Kensington 5.3.1653. British Merchant and Traveller in India. Son of Thomas M. and Susanna Hogan. Aged 16 he was apprenticed to a merchant, served four years in London and five in Middelburg, the Netherlands. In 1615 accepted as Persian linguist in E.I.C.’s service and sailed in 1616 fleet to Surat. Travelled much in India, in 1622 visited Golconda. He was based at Masulipatam and practised some private trade, which was strictly against the rules, on which cause he was recalled to England. He quitted the Company and became private trader, in 1628 pardoned by E.I.C. and became its shareholder. Returned to India in 1633. From 1643 until death Deputy Governor of E.I.C. He collected much wealth. Married 1624 Mary Wright (d. 1652) and 1653 Sarah Rolfe, two sons and three daughters with the first wife.

Publications: “Relations of the Kingdome of Golchonda and other neighbouring Nations within the Gulfe of Bengal &c.”, printed in Purchas’ Pilgrims 5, 1626, 993-1007; new ed. by W. H. Moreland, Relations of Golconda in the Early Seventeenth Century. 1931.

Sources: G.G[oodwin], D.N.B. 37, 1894, 309f. (together with his uncle, judge William Methold); M. Strachan, Literature of Travel and Explor. 2, 2003,  790f.; Wikipedia.

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